Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Vs Cryptocurrency

    Simar Marwaha
    Simar Marwaha
    Published on March 02, 2023 11:18 PM

    Although having different capacities, some people think the CBDC vs. crypto argument should be seen in the perspective of capturing the unbanked population. Should we analyze both in depth today? Lets go! 

    Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Vs Cryptocurrency
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    In recent years, both cryptocurrencies and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) have drawn foreign attention.

    Any digital or virtual money that employs encryption to secure transactions is called a cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies rely on a decentralized mechanism to track transactions and create new units rather than a central body to issue or regulate them.

    CBDC, on the other hand, is a widely accepted digital currency issued by the central bank. They are based on the value of a nation's fiat currency. Several countries are developing CBDCs.

    Also, no other government body has any influence over digital currency. Direct access to cryptocurrencies is possible for owners. They are encrypted for security.

    The nature of cryptocurrencies is quite erratic. When transacting with one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, you must use your wallet address. This would imply that you are free to withhold your personal data there. Let's first discover more about each of them before seeing how they vary.

    What is Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

    A nation's fiat money is represented virtually via digital currency called CBDC. They serve as a kind of value storage and may be applied to online purchases of products and services. They are issued and managed by a country's central bank.

    CBDCs use blockchain technology to store and verify transaction data. They do, however, work on a personal, permissioned network. As a result, the general public won't be allowed to participate in the verification process or be given access to transactional data.

    Instead, the central bank selects the nodes that will participate in the verification process. Banks and other financial institutions supporting system transactions will likely be these nodes.

    What are cryptocurrencies?

    In a decentralized network, cryptocurrency serves as both a store of value and a means of trade. This implies that these assets are not under the jurisdiction of a single governing body.

    Cryptocurrency transactions are kept on a blockchain, merely a publicly distributed ledger. This ledger includes all the information about every transaction conducted on the network. Users who volunteer to become nodes can save a copy of this ledger on the system. This ledger is open to all other users, who may see every transaction recorded there.

    Cryptocurrencies may be used as investing tools as well. Yet, the market's activity determines their pricing, which is erratic.

    Cryptocurrency Vs CBDC

    differences between digital currency and cryptocurrency


    Source: M2P

    To assist you understand better, let us contrast CBDC with cryptocurrency, so go with the flow!

    Firstly, thanks to its encryption algorithms, a form of digital currency, cryptocurrency, functions as an alternate payment mechanism.

    While cryptos are digital assets on a distributed network, central bank digital currencies may be compared to the digital form of a country's fiat currency.

    Cryptocurrencies are stored on a decentralized network architecture, allowing transactions to be completed, validated, and updated to the public ledger without the involvement of a third party.

    CBDs are legal cash; unlike cryptocurrency, they cannot be utilized as stock or security tokens. This is cool, right?

    Digital currencies are also not under the supervision of any other government body. Cryptocurrency owners have immediate access to their money. To ensure security, they are encrypted. Cryptocurrencies are, by their very nature extremely volatile. A wallet address is required when utilizing one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies. This implies that you are not obligated to disclose any private information there.

    CBDC is not a specialized utility token because it is legal cash. In contrast to Crypto, which was built decentralized, CBDCs are centrally regulated, and most central banks worldwide use Hyperledger, which corporations, like any other technology, govern.

    Moreover, stablecoins, currencies anchored to a fiat currency like the US dollar, are not the same as CBDCs.

    A CBDC would be the fiat currency rather than being tied to a fiat currency. For instance, a CBDC dollar bill and a $1 bill are the same.

    Cryptocurrencies may be used for both business transactions and speculation. The cryptocurrency industry is undeniably independent with a peer-to-peer architecture, whereas some constraints limit central banks.

    CBDCs can only be used to make payments; hoarding or speculating in them is strictly forbidden. CBDC would be less concerned about data and privacy than cryptocurrency.

    What is the benefit of developing CBDCs if they are conceptually equal to conventional notes?

    Of course, the argument is that they would be genuinely digital forms of payment. They could theoretically trade instantly and move quickly and smoothly across boundaries. CBDC payments might be promptly processed through central bank infrastructure, significantly lowering transaction costs.

    In a crisis, for instance, governments may use CBDC to give immediate stimulus payments to individuals. This would allow for more direct management of the flow of money.

    As said, despite the potential advantages, CBDCs are not without danger.

    Destabilizing the current financial system, which depends on a particular arrangement between central and commercial banks, would be one of the largest effects. Because of this, central banks are approaching CBDCs with caution.

    To guarantee a seamless transition, the government has incorporated financial intermediaries, such as banks and internet businesses with significant payment operations, like WeChat, in China, where the PBoC is piloting a digital yuan in a number of locations. Similar caution has been shown in a European CBDC pilot project between France and Switzerland that focuses on wholesale lending and is meant to be a proof-of-concept and technology test.


    Three crucial functionalities are the main emphasis of the use cases for CBDCs. First, rather than attempting to replace currency, CBDCs and their apps aim to offer a trustworthy replacement. The support for digitalization displayed by CBDCs in their use cases is the next crucial characteristic.

    CBDCs can provide several advantages due to digitization, including peer-to-peer transactions, open and competitive ecosystems, programmable payments supporting smart contracts, and more. Central banks using virtual currencies may also use interoperability with international CBDCs or multi-CBDC platforms for international payments.

    CBDC Vs. Cryptocurrency FAQs

    What distinguishes CBDC from cryptocurrencies?

    Discussions about CBDC and cryptocurrencies are deceptive. CBDCs are essentially just digital representations of existing fiat currencies, meaning inflation, deflation, and monetary policy directly affect them. They lack the decentralized, trustless characteristics of cryptocurrencies.

    Can CBDC take the role of cryptocurrencies?

    CBDCs will probably influence the cryptocurrency business; however, it is unlikely, given that they serve distinct goals. How much depends on the laws of each jurisdiction. Governments may use CBDCs with a negative view of cryptocurrencies to lessen the impact of stablecoins.

    Is CBDC superior to cryptocurrencies?

    CBDCs are fiat, making them more stable than cryptocurrencies, but they have the advantages of decentralization, trustlessness, and privacy. The CBDC vs. crypto argument will probably get louder in the next years.

    How can consumers invest in the central bank's digital currency?

    Holding a central bank's digital money in your account is the only way to invest in it. Simply put, you currently possess the country's physical currency. To hold a CBDC from any nation today, users must have a bank account and a confirmed login. This means that people from various countries cannot receive CBDC from a foreign country. However, this situation is anticipated to change if more CBDCs are established internationally.

    What is a digital currency's biggest drawback?

    Systems for digital currency are vulnerable to hackers. Hackers can potentially undermine crucial financial systems and a country's economic basis. Systems for centralized digital currencies, such as those used by CBDCs, may permit the surveillance and tracing of user data, endangering their privacy. This may impact users.